Melbourne win by 6 points
Jim Veal (3rd game)
Kicking with a slight breeze in the first quarter, the home side got off to a fast start in a poor quality game. In an error strewn contest, described as one of the worst quality games of the season, they kicked five goals straight to lead by 21 points. Melbourne reduced the lead to under a goal at half time before putting themselves in a winning position with a five goal burst in the third term.
Essendon had suffered two defeats in a row, and entered the game short on confidence but favoured by the breeze they scored five goals in a row. Melbourne cut the margin back to under a goal at half time and Essendon was never on top again. In comparison to Essendon's recent issues Melbourne had twice had big leads at quarter time, so coming from behind had been a different experience for them.
The Redlegs were faster and more determined than their opponents in the third quarter. Early in the quarter neither side showed any great form before Melbourne exploded with a burst of four goals in five minutes. It forced Essendon to recast their defence, and despite losing Davidson until midway through the last quarter after falling heavily, Melbourne opened up a ten point lead. Essendon had steadied late in the quarter and got a late goal to keep the opposition within range.
Essendon rallied again in the last quarter, and when Taylor injured his ankle in a tangle with an opponent he was reduced to limping about the field. The fitness advantage helped the home side begin to overhaul the lead. Veal was also struggling because of a twisted knee, forcing Davidson back into the game despite still being dazed. Taylor, Veal and Davidson were all left to limp around the forward line, of no further use to the rest of their team.
With Melbourne's centre line barely functioning due to the injuries, the margin was reduced to a point. Their defence turned back many Essendon opportunities, and the locals did their bit by missing several simple chances. The game ended with Melbourne seven points up before a late Essendon point made the final margin one straight kick. It completed the Fuschias' first four match winning streak since 1915.
Best were Warne-Smith, Wittman and Moyes.
Melbourne 12.17.89 d. Essendon 10.6.66